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Ten Word or Less Review – Snow White and the Seven CGI Dwarves

Director Rupert Sanders may, I say may, be the next Ridley Scott.  There is no doubt in my mind that he’s capable of crafting some truly amazing imagery with the vast arsenal of Hollywood toys at his fingertips.  Snow White and The Huntsman can effortlessly stand up to any and all comers as one of the years most transcendent looking experiences put to film.  Between watching it and Life of Pi on the same day I had enough visual stimulation to last me for weeks.  Somewhere Guillermo Del Toro sits like a proud papa knowing that his meticulous influence on the appearances of genre films is in full effect.  But after the pride subsides the tears start to flow.  Because Snow White is also without question the single most boring movie experience mounted this year of our lord 2012.

All this resplendent visual opulence sits in service to a regurgitated fairy tale which has more business being a screensaver than an actual movie.  Sanders movie is doubly frustrating because it sits within striking distance of being magnificent.  With just a few nudges here and there it may have been something quite special, but it constantly takes the safe way out, backs down or otherwise becomes a narrative chore.  It never has the balls to outdo it’s big budget brothers and sisters in ways it seems aching to achieve.  A director with more clout, or maybe some Game of Thrones experience, probably could have gotten this thing to where it needed to be.

Its cast is relegated to walking through the overpowering scenery, being swallowed up by the high priced CGI processing power time and time again.  Give Kristen Stewart all the hell you want for being a tepid actress but few if any could hold their own with the screenplay at hand.  It’s a bland experience that I’m sure took the hands of many to make this remedial.  The much touted Charlize Theron steals what scenes she can but the movie forgets her half way through and she’s never as malignant as she needs to be.  Thor is in it.  He’s covered in mud the whole time and has an out of place Scottish accent.  Someone apparently told him they were making a historical epic.  With witches and fairies.  The inclusion of the dwarves feels sadly superfilous and their presentation is bizarre.  Basically seven experienced British actors (Bob Hoskins/Mark Frost/Ray Winstone/Ian McShane, etc.) have their noggins seamlessly sewn onto the bodies of little people playing the dwarves.  It’s a very accomplished but weird effect which serves no discernible purpose in the end.  I can see why little people got so pissed about this movie.  But I guess asking Peter Dinklage to save every piece of costume heavy high fantasy is asking a lot.


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